One of the UK’s biggest claims handlers has revealed that it rejects around two-thirds of calls that come into its contact centre.
National Accident Helpline said around 83,000 of 248,000 enquiries received by its call centre in 2014 were passed onto law firms on its panel.
Further risk assessment by the firms themselves then sifts out almost half the leads, resulting in around 48,000 cases for the group’s panel of 50 firms.
Chief executive Russell Atkinson (pictured) said the statistics showed the claims management company has rigorous measures in place to prevent unwarranted claims.
‘Less than 20% of calls that come in turn into running cases,’ said Atkinson. ‘We’re not based on volume as we don’t get paid for putting more cases through – we get paid by firms for putting cases through on merit.’
The figures were revealed as accounts showed the company’s profit before tax fell from £14.7m in 2013 to £12.1m last year. Total revenue also fell from £49.1m to £43.8m.
Income from solicitors rose year on year from £34.4m to £38.4m, however.
Turnover dropped largely due to the absence of income from after-the-event insurance in 2014. Recoverability of ATE was abolished in April 2013.
The group plans to expand into other areas of consumer law after acquiring conveyancing lead generator Fitzalan Partners Limited in February this year. The deal is worth £3m upfront in cash with a further £1.3m paid depending on the performance of the company.
Atkinson said there is scope for moving into practice areas such as employment law and wills and probate.
The company, which floated on the London Stock Exchange last year, estimates it has a 1.9% market share of RTA claims, 11.6% in non-RTA personal injury claims and 5.8% market share in medical negligence.
Atkinson said it was a ‘frustration’ that bigger claims management companies have had to increase their contribution to regulation of the sector, in part to meet the cost of regulating entities dealing with PPI claims.
He added: ‘Our frustration is also making sure the ethical marketing practice we follow becomes more important to the relevant regulators and authorities.
‘We can’t understand why the government just doesn’t ban cold calling.’